Monday, April 23, 2012

Wknd Recap - 4/20

Hi there; another Monday come round and it still feels like it’s February instead of the end of April.  There’s even snow predicted for the northeast.  Mother Nature sure is wonky this year!

We had a pretty good first weekend back in the States.  We still had Ben’s friend staying in our guest room (he’d come to live with us prior to the trip for the month of April until he and his wife get their apartment in May), so after some debate of what to do Friday night (a girlfriend was going to meet others downtown, but my out of control wavy hair and gingham shirt didn’t really warrant a night out on the town), Ben, our houseguest and I went to dinner at Northdown Café.  It’s a bar that opened near us within the past year and despite knowing they have a good craft brew list, we still hadn’t made it there.

We arrive around 7:30 and it was fairly busy;  we grabbed a drink (I got a Petrus Aged Pale, a sour beer that was smooth as water, and must tastier too) and waited about 15 minutes for a table in the back dining area.  We opted for a cheese plate for an app.  For our meals I got a grilled cheese and tomato soup (which seems weird to pay for at a restaurant, but it was worth it!), our house guest got kale and quinoa with veggies that looked tasty and Ben opted for pulled pork.  They’re known for their pies, but we were too full from our meals to even consider one. I also got a Zombie Dust; which is a hoppy beer by Three Floyds that is hard to find; let alone on tap.  Ben was in Heaven :O).  I think we’ve found a new local dinner option!

Saturday morning Ben and I went to the gym, my first time in over 3 weeks, and it felt amazing!! I mainly lifted and did a bit of cardio, but was actually nice to get all sweaty (Of course I woke up sore as could be yesterday, but no pain-no gain, right?).  Saturday afternoon I had a hair appointment at Streets of London salon (SOL).  As you may recall, I usually get my hair done back in my hometown (love my stylist and also her pricing); but during the trip I kept noticing split ends and after talking with my stylist, I decided to just go somewhere here in Chicago since we don’t anticipate going back home until June.

The salon itself has rave reviews on yelp and is ranked one of the top ten in Chicago.  Like the reviews stated, it’s fairly trendy, with several of the stylists/receptionists having more unique hair styles (colored, partially shaved, etc).  I met with Stacey, whose name I recognized from reviews.  She was very genuine and took time to ask what I liked about my hair and didn’t.  I pointed out a color picture for inspiration from one of their magazines and we walked about what I liked and didn’t like about the color, etc.  She was very thorough, which I appreciated.  I ended up going with golden blonde highlights (yay to being blonde again!) with some caramel low lights.  I got just a trim because my ends needed it desperately and I’m not quite sure if I want to continue growing my hair out or take it to more of a bob, so this was a transitional haircut. The color turned out AMAZING!  I can’t decide if it’s her workmanship, or if I’m just so excited to have blonde in again, but it’s probably a combination of both.  She did a fantastic job and I’m really happy with the outcome. Pics to come.

The only thing I’m not so happy with is the price.  Part of the reason I like going to my hometown stylist (aside from the relationship we’ve made) is the price.  She typically charges $55-70 for cut, highlights and lowlights, depending what we do.  For my SOL experience, with a 30% off new client haircut discount, it was $130.  On top of that since my ends were so bad, we did a $20 treatment.  So, leaving the salon with tip I spent $180!!! Aggh!  While I liked SOL and Stacey, I don’t know if I really want to pay that much every 8-10 wks for hair.  We’ll see how my schedule goes and how my hair grows out, but I’m hoping to get back hope and then keep Stacey as a backup. It’s not quite fair to either stylist (because they both have “visions” for my hair) but I’m not sure how else to work it.

Saturday night our houseguest’s wife came in town and they took us out to dinner as a thank you for letting him stay at our place.  We had a moving party to go to that night, so we opted for a place that was on the way, Que Rico.  It’s a Mexican restaurant which Ben and I both run by, but we’d never visited before.  It’s in a converted house and it much bigger than I anticipated, but it was yummy!!  We sat in the back, which was a bit too dimly lit for our liking.  We split a pitcher of sangria.  It wasn’t nearly as strong as some of the stuff we had in Barcelona, but it was tasty.  We got guacamole for an app, which was pretty fresh although not spectacular.  What was spectacular was their salsa; yum!!  I had tostada’s for my entrée which were tasty too.  One annoying thing though is that all of the entrée prices were $2-$4 more expensive than the prices listed online.  However, I would definitely go back, although adding it up, for Ben and I to go and get an app ($7), sangria or margarita pitcher (Sangria is $22 and I think margs were $28), and two entrées ($14 each); with tip I’d probably be an $80 dinner, so I’m not sure how often we’ll get back.

Sunday I ran errands and hung out at home.  Our Derby de Mayo birthday party is less than two weeks away, so I’m trying to start working on some decorations for it.  May will be here before we know it!

More pictures and trip reviews are on their way.  I’m almost done editing my 800+ Paris pictures.  I’m sorry I’m so slow!  I also blame my husband for hogging the computer this weekend to work on his trip pics.

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